2023 AASL STEM Special Event Grants Awarded

For Immediate Release
Thu, 06/01/2023


Allison Cline

Deputy Executive Director




CHICAGO – Eleven STEM Special Event Grants have been awarded by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Supported by the Danaher Foundation, the STEM Special Event Grant Program supports a special event to increase student engagement by providing direct assistance funding to middle or high school libraries for special short-term projects or events that would engage students to promote STEM education and student interest in a career in the STEM field. Each recipient will receive a $3,000 grant to fund their project or event.

Recipients of the 2023 AASL STEM Special Event Grants are:

  • Gayle Middle School (VA), school librarian Nathan Sekinger
  • Lady’s Island Middle School (SC), school librarian Joanna Sargent
  • Manchester Jr/Sr High School (IN), district media specialist, Mary Randall
  • Melbourne High School (FL), media specialist, Carrie Friday
  • Molokai High School (HI), school librarian, Diane Mokuau
  • Moriarty High School (NM), district school librarian, Sarah Appel
  • Northeastern Middle School (PA), school librarian, Deborah Hoover
  • Radford High School (VA), school librarian, Rebecca Caufman
  • Southwest Academy (MD), school library media specialist, Tatanisha Love
  • Westmoreland School (NH), media specialist, Stephanie Charlefour
  • Young Middle Magnet (FL), media specialist, Mitzi Mack

“The committee was thrilled to see such a depth and breadth of applications for this inaugural offering of such an important grant,” said grant committee chair John Byrnes.  “School libraries across the country will become a center for STEM exploration.  From a STEM makerspace night in which women and BIPOC engineers will come together with students and their families to discuss STEM careers over makerspace fun, to a monthly program focused on teaching coding and various careers in the field of STEM, to a Hydroponics STEM program, to developing an Innovation Station focused on Design Thinking and the first official STEM and Makerspace for an entire district, these grants will offer immediate resources and have a lasting impact.”

“We want to thank the Danaher Foundation for their generous support of this grant program and school libraries,” said AASL President Kathy Lester. “School librarians offer safe and open spaces for all students to think, create, grow, and share. For many learners, STEM may be an unknown, or seen as a rigid area of study, but these grant recipients are demonstrating the fun exploration and opportunities that are open to all.  What a wonderful display of innovation, inclusion, and engagement.  Congratulation to all of this year’s recipients.”

Grant recipients will provide additional information through a variety of communication and professional development paths to share their events or projects for the field to replicate.  A second round of STEM Special Event Grants will launch on September 1, 2023.

The AASL award winners will be recognized during the 2023 AASL National Conference taking place October 19-21 in Tampa, Florida. 

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

The Danaher Foundation, an independent charitable organization funded by Danaher, invests in partnerships that share a desire to make a positive impact in the world by Building a Diverse, STEM-ready Workforce, Advancing Healthcare Innovation and Protecting the Environment.